Monday, December 30, 2013

chocolate charms (shortbread)

Continuing with my cookie-baking marathon, I wanted to include a simple shortbread cookie in my Christmas cookie gift box. Because for this year, I could only do most of my baking after the kids had gone to bed, I decided to make everything simple by using an ice cream scoop to dish out my cookies. Hence these cookies are round instead of the more traditional wedges or rectangular shapes which shortbread cookies tend to come in.

Shortbread cookies are really, really simple to make. It really is a matter of mixing the (very few) ingredients, letting the dough rest in the fridge and then shaping and baking.

I made one batch of dough and got about 50 cookies.

To make these, I started by beating the butter for about 5 minutes, until it turned fluffy. Then the sugar was added, and the mixture was beaten for another 2-3 minutes, until it became very light in colour and fluffy.

I added vanilla extract, and sifted the flour, coca powder and salt.

The flour was added to the mixture in 3 additions, and I combined the flour and cocoa powder on low speed, until it was just incorporated.

I chilled the dough for a few hours (minimum 1 hour), and using a small ice cream scoop, I dished the cookies and placed them on lined baking trays.

I baked them for about 20-25 minutes.

These cookies are crunchy and not overly sweet.

Absolutely delicious!

Chocolate Charms Shortbread (Makes 48-50)
Adapted from Martha Steward's "Cookies"

2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for dusting - I skipped this)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

1. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.
2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. Add sugar, and beat about 2 minutes more, until very light in color and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
4. Add vanilla, if using. Add flour mixture, and combine on low speed, scraping with spatula if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.
5. Form dough into a flattened disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 165C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Using a spoon, form dough into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheet.
8. Bake until firm, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through.
9. Cool completely on wire rack.
10. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

This post is Part 3 of my 4-part post on Christmas cookies. Do look out for the recipes for the remaining cookies in the following weeks!

The recipe for Part 2 (Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies) can be found here.
The recipe for Part 1 (Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies) can be found here.
The recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies can be found here.

I am submitting this recipe for Cook-Your-Books hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.


  1. hi. this recipe looks delicious n easy. i would like to know as in ur recipe, 1 cup of flour should equivalent to how many grams? thank you.

  2. I would like to know if i were to use icing sugar for this recipe instead, is it that i have to add in more icing sugar than the 3/4 cup of caster sugar?

    Thank you for ur reply.

    1. Hi please see here: